Opening sentence: “I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem.”
If you’re in need of a feel-good read right about now, then look no further than The Rosie Project. It is one of the few novels I’ve read that I can actually apply the phrase ‘heart-warming’ to. If you don’t finish this book with a huge grin on your face and a warm glow, then you, my friend, are a robot.
Our lead character, Don Tillman, is a university lecturer and researcher of genetics and is on the autistic spectrum. He has a lack of ability of read people’s emotions, so he often makes errors in social situations. This has led to him being single for quite some time and coming up with the idea of the Wife Project. He will simply create a questionnaire to filter out his ideal woman, distribute it to dating sites and wait for the right match to be made. Simple!
However, as is the way of life, it is a woman who – on paper – does not fit his criteria at all that captures his attention. Rosie is a psychology graduate and bartender and is introduced to Don through a mutual friend and fellow professor, Gene.
“But I’m not good at understanding what other people want.’
‘Tell me something I don’t know,’ said Rosie for no obvious reason.
I quickly searched my mind for an interesting fact.
‘Ahhh… The testicles of drone bees and wasp spiders explode during sex.”
The Rosie Project made me laugh-out-loud several times, there are some genuinely cringe-worthy moments due to Don’s inability to read social situations and/or sarcasm. He takes things way too literally and although you feel awkward for him, at the same time you can’t help but love him just a little bit.
I would have liked to find out a bit more about Rosie so that she was a more fully rounded character. As the story is told from Don’s point of view (and as we have established, his POV is very unique to him) we don’t really get an opportunity for insight into Rosie’s thought process. That’s not a criticism, just an observation!
The pace of the novel is just perfect, building up to a wonderful ending. I am a recent semi-convert to the romance genre and am not usually drawn to books that overtly claim to be all about romance, but this book is just plain brilliant, no matter what genre it is! It has earned the position on my shelf of one of my favourite pick-me-up books. Plus, how can you resist such charming cover art?
- Published by Penguin 2014
- 368 pages
- My rating: